The University of North Florida is making many efforts to “Go Green", read more to see just what our campus is striving to do to reduce food waste and promote Sustainability!
People all over are becoming more and more interested in ways they can reduce their carbon footprint. People are wanting to help the environment and becoming more sustainable is just the way to do it! UNF is currently participating in tons of ways to reduce food waste and join the Green Movement. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is often a term we hear used in regards to the Green movement and UNF has taken its part in this effort for the environment around us. The Osprey Cafe and all of Dining Services locations have made several changes over the last few years that not only help to eliminate waste but ensure our students, faculty, and guests all have healthier options to choose from. Dining services offer #eco-friendly, reusable plastics that help reduce UNF's carbon footprint and its way easier for us students to grab something on the go.
UNF Dining Services will put on their annual Project Clean Plate initiative from September 30th to October 4th in the Osprey Café. This is an effort to reduce food waste in the café and to encourage students to “clean their plates.” In return for cleaning their plates, students can collect a ticket and get entered into a raffle where they have the chance to win prizes and other fun goodies. In return for reducing food waste in the café by 10% UNF Dining Services will donate $250 to the Lend-a-Wing Pantry on campus and will donate $500 for an overall 15% food waste reduction. UNF Dining Services is actually a Certified 3-Star “Green Restaurant” through its efforts such as eliminating food trays, saving thousands of gallons of water each year, and recycling.
Food Fighters and Meals on Wings work hand in hand with the Osprey Café and other Dining locations on campus to help eliminate food waste. Food Fighters is a non-profit organization founded on UNF’s campus that helps fight both food waste and food insecurity. Food Fighters uses already prepared meals and food items that cannot be reheated or reused by the company they came from and would thus be thrown away. Food Fighters have recovered thousands of pounds of food from the Osprey Café and use it to prepare packaged meals for Meals on Wings recipients. Many of the recipients in this program are on the waiting list for the Meals on Wheels program. They depend on these meals because they may either be low-income, have limited accessibility to healthy foods or often have health conditions keeping them inside.
UNF Dining Services has partnered with Frederick and Ophelia Tate Ogier Gardens on campus to bring freshly grown produce right to the Osprey Café. It doesn’t get much more #Green than that! Ogier Gardens works closely with Dining Services to offer students fresh, locally grown fruits, herbs, and veggies right here on campus! You can see some of the seasonal produce available at the salad bar and other food stations inside The Cafe. The Ogier Gardens also collects kitchen scraps from the Café and the Food Labs in Brooks College of Health to use in their compost efforts. It is a reduce, reuse, and recycle system on UNF’s clock!
UNF is now also offering a Minor in Food Systems and Sustainability. It is a 15-credit hour Minor that goes hand-in-hand with their BS in Nutrition and Dietetics. The Minor focuses on food systems across different cultures with many of the courses focusing on Sustainability efforts across many different cultures, some of which are right here in the US. This is an excellent opportunity for students who are looking to graduate with a Minor in their area of interest and expertise!
Be sure to stay tuned for what’s next #OnTheBlog and as always stay Healthy Ospreys!